January 10, 2012 | by Andrew Kameka
LG already removed the veil from its new Google TV and didn’t share much at its press conference yesterday. But I’ve just spent my early morning getting some quick hands-on time with the device and figured that you all might like to know more about the new smart TV that merges Google TV with LG’s own 3D media technology.
LG has two televisions on display – one 47-inch and the other 55 – that are part of its G6 series. Both sets support Cinema 3D that requires glasses but has decent viewing angles. The TV can actually upscale 2D content and convert it to 3D. I’m not sure if the videos on display were true 3D content, as in filmed with a 3D camera, or conversions, so I’ll reserve judgment until a later date.
As for the UI, its an upgrade. LG has customized the Google TV interface to have more silver, gray, and include widgets that are pretty convienent. That could be a problem down the line if GTV updates are slowed by the need to update that UI, but I doubt it. It looks very similar to the existing GTV interface, save for the widgets, a different mouse pointer, and some graphic changes in the menu. I actually prefer this look over the standard one on my Logitech Revue.
Other things I noticed were that the Magic Remote has a learning curve. Using it to navigate the on-screen mouse pointer felt awkward because the ball doesn’t turn, but using directional pads was fine. Maybe it gets easier to use with time because the LG rep demoing the device for me didn’t have a problem with it. It’s also running LG’s L9 chipset instead of the previous Intel chips that powered Google TV, and this dual-core chip moved way faster than my Revue.
I’m not sold on the 3D aspect, the LED screen looked good in the hall, and I’d like to see how the 120 Hz TV’s perform in the living room. There’s no word on price or date yet, but LG plans to launch later this year.